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October 5, 2013

Wake shows resolve

Winston-Salem, NC - Wake Forest (3-3, 1-2 ACC) rose from "Death Valley" following an embarrassing 56-7 loss to No. 3 Clemson in time to manufacture the Demon Deacons most complete performance of the season and a 28-13 win over in-state and Atlantic Division rival NC State (3-2, 0-2 ACC).

"I thought our defensive staff did a heck of a job kind of corralling a pretty explosive group, and offensively, I thought Tanner [Price] and those guys stepped up today," Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe said.

"There was electricity in the locker room before the game. I just had a sense that this was different. There was a different feel, and I felt even better at halftime. When we were gathering up at halftime to come back out, you could tell that the guys were on a mission. [It is] just a really good feeling today and nice to see the guys on both sides of the ball play four quarters."

Grobe and his team had reason to feel good about themselves at halftime following arguably the defining sequence of the game when Price connected with Spencer Bishop on a 54-yard pass that set up a 10-yard touchdown pass from Price to Michael Campanaro with 0:06 left in the second quarter after to reclaim the lead for good.

See, the Demon Deacons easily could have given up when Pete Thomas completed an 11-yard touchdown pass to Quintin Payton give State a 10-7 advantage with 0:39 before the intermission, because they have become well-acquainted with deflating circumstances; three disappointing losses, but displayed the mental toughness, focus and execution to answer the bell in 33 seconds.

"I think it was huge, because I thought we played well enough to have a lead going into halftime and then they scored at the end there," Bishop said. "We were thinking about running [our] two-minute [offense]. We were on the 25."

"The first play Tanner had a good scramble [for 11 yards], and then we were like let's pick it up, let's try and get some things going, get into field goal range and I'm thankful I got open and I got a good play out of it."

Wake Forest followed one big difference-maker with another; however, it had some help from the Wolfpack when Robert Caldwell gave the Deacs another opportunity to get in the end zone instead of settling for a field goal after he roughed kicker Chad Hedlund.

Price hit Jared Crump with a three-yard touchdown pass on the next play, and Hedlund made the extra point to give Wake a 21-10 lead with 7:25 remaining in the third quarter.

Observations …

--- Price was a true dual-threat as a passer and as a runner. He completed 24-39 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns to one interception, and rushed 18 times (career-high) for 82 yards (career-high) and a touchdown.

--- Campanaro was unstoppable despite being double-teamed at times. He caught 12 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns.

--- Ryan Janvion had a team-leading and career-high 11 tackles, while Kevin Johnson made seven tackles and a timely interception that enabled Wake run some clock in the fourth quarter. Merrill Noel added five tackles and an interception.


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